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QUESTION: What do you mean when you say that you ‘believe the Bible?’
 
ANSWER: What a great and honest question. According to Noah Webster, to believe means “To credit upon the authority or testimony of another; to be persuaded of the truth of something upon the declaration of another, or upon evidence furnished by reasons, arguments, and deductions of the mind, or by other circumstances, than personal knowledge. When we believe upon the authority of another, we always put confidence in his veracity.”
 
When I was young I remember hearing on more than one occasion that to believe God is like coming to a cliff and, although you can’t see anything to stop your fall, taking one more step and God will ‘catch’ you. May I say with all kindness, that this is not biblical faith. God does not want you nor expect you to step foolishly into the unknown. He expects you to stand on the rock of His Word. He even tells us, “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
 
When I say I believe the Bible I mean that the Word of God – the 66 books of the Old and New Testaments – trumps every other word that declares itself authoritative. Whether that authority be a preacher, priest, bishop, church or body of men, I am going to measure what they say against the plain written words of His Book. My starting point (my bias, if you will) is that the Bible is the preserved Word of God and I will sift every piece of information I receive through it.
 
Please let me make a statement that sounds odd coming from a preacher: You will never get to Heaven by believing me. Surprised? Now, I won’t knowingly mislead you and I will always do my best to clearly tell the truth, but to get saved you must believe God – not the preacher. You will never get into Heaven by stating that you ‘believed Pastor MacDonald.’ The question is, do you believe God? Do you believe God’s Word?   If in your church or belief system a man or men must ‘explain what the Bible really means,’ then you are being misdirected. 
 
True, some passages are harder than others and require a certain amount of familiarity with the whole in order to fully understand. But the references, comparisons and proofs you make must all come from within the pages of the divine, completed revelation God gave.
 
The devil has been questioning God’s Word since the beginning. If he can get you to doubt it or to put more confidence in what man says about God’s Word then in God’s Word itself, you have taken his bait. Are you willing to put your eternal destiny into the hands of a man (or men) when that man clearly contradicts what you can plainly read in the text for yourself?  May I kindly say that a man does not believe the Bible if what it says in plain English is ‘explained away’ as something that is the exact opposite. God is not the author of confusion. Did you read the last line of Mr. Webster’s definition? “When we believe upon the authority of another, we always put confidence in his veracity.”
 
 
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